2012 Recruiting: The Tight End

Submitted by Lancer on December 7th, 2011 at 12:55 AM

Michigan has just offered St.Edward's (home of Kyle Kalis) Sam Gant. He is a low to mid three star 6'6 235 TE. He is currently a Boston College commit and has MAC offers. Offering this late in the process leads me to believe that the coaching staff is seeking another TE in this class. Reports are AJ Williams has looked real good at OT this season and could possibly make the switch at the next level. Devin Fuchness needs to add some bulk at this point and will likely red shirt his freshmen season. The current roster needs some depth at the position as Kevin Koger (stud) and Steve Watson graduate. Mattison has recently visited JP Holtz and the kid will be coming to AA in the coming weeks. I think we have a great shot with Holtz, just need to fend off sparty, PSU, and Arkansas. McNamara seems like a stretch at this point, we need to get him on campus. Anyone have word on wether that Cal visit was an unofficial? 



December 7th, 2011 at 1:00 AM ^

TE's are very important in Borges' style of play, so I'm not surprised here.  If only Brown stuck to his commitment, I was very excited about seeing him in coming years.


December 7th, 2011 at 1:36 AM ^

We went from having almost every position wrapped up and the luxury of being able to take the best players available with our remaining slots to having to reactionarily give out new offers because there is now a position of need.  

We are *this* close to wrapping up the class and at this point in the game I wanted to see the finishing touches put on the players we've been actively recruiting for a while.

Doesn't help that Brown was the player I was most excited about :-(


December 7th, 2011 at 10:47 AM ^

As soon as I learned of the prospect, back when he was a starting QB, I wondered how he'd do as a TE.  Then, when he was successful in 7-7 situations, I wanted him as a TE.  After, once I read Ace's Weekday Warriors summaries on his statistics as a WR, I NEEDED him to play TE if he were to come to Michigan.

I'm not inside the coaches' heads but I'd like to think that his offensive prowess and potential would have been too much to ignore. 


December 7th, 2011 at 7:48 AM ^

They're not really positions of "need."  We have plenty of bodies at TE (Moore, Miller, Funchess, Williams).  Pharaoh Brown was going to be a DE until he decided to switch positions, so it's not like the coaches were fretting about the TE position.

You can relax.  Everything's going to be okay.


December 7th, 2011 at 2:13 PM ^

Clearly, Williams and Funchess aren't the same type of player.  There are receiving TE's and there are blocking TE's and there are guys in between.  The same idea that makes Vincent Smith "not an every-down back", and makes Gallon a 'slot', applies to receiving TE's.

So, next year's candidates for every-down TE are a career-backup (Moore) and a true-freshman who might be a blocking specialist.  Michigan needs another TE because they can't count on Williams to step up.  You can call the need for TE 'dual-threat', 'every-down', or whatever other label you want to apply but the recent flurry of TE-pursuit by the coaches, as the OP says, indicates that the coaches view TE as a need.

If they don't land a third TE there will likely be a walk-on or position-switch player seeing significant snaps next year.  There probably will be anyway.  TE is the weakest position on the 2012 roster.


December 7th, 2011 at 1:11 AM ^

I was really excited to see him wearing that winged helmet.Too bad that didn't work out. Borges said he absolutely loves TE's, so not surprised here that they are still actively recruiting. I guess we are down to Moore and Miller going into next season. I guess we will have to wait and see.



December 7th, 2011 at 1:22 AM ^

Another TE is important. Funchess has the ball handling skills but needs a redshirt year to put on mass, Williams may outgrow the position, and with Koger gone and Barnett not making it to opening day, we have little to fill the void. I'd like to see us get Holtz, reconciliation with Brown seeming unlikely, but I have faith in whomever the staff sees fit to offer.

Trader Jack

December 7th, 2011 at 1:33 AM ^

With Pharoah Brown decomitting and the coaching staff seemingly wanting to add another TE to this class, I'm really surprised they haven't reached out to Ron Thompson. He seemed very interested in Michigan before the TE spots filled up, is a consensus 4 star prospect, and spent the whole summer on the same 7-on-7 team as Shane Morris.

turd ferguson

December 7th, 2011 at 1:40 AM ^

At this point, my best guess for the final four is Dunn, Chesson, Wright, and the first of a whole bunch of TEs or O-linemen to commit (w/ A.J. Williams beginning at the other position).


December 7th, 2011 at 7:10 AM ^

no player is "insignificant."  The team would not be as good as they are without the practice squad guys, 3rd-teamers, and starters alike working hard everyday.  Just because he isn't playing much doesn't mean he didn't help us get to 10-2 this year.




turd ferguson

December 7th, 2011 at 2:05 AM ^

With the crazy importance of the position, I'd much rather be a little too deep at QB than risk not being deep enough if something bad happens (injury, transfer, poor development, etc.). With Houma and Johnson on board, another RB/FB seems much less critical to me than another QB. (I should say, though, that I don't love Garmon and haven't seen enough of Brown.)


December 7th, 2011 at 5:51 AM ^

Sorry, I forgot his name, but there was a JUCO QB that was interested in us.  Don't be alarmed about his grades.  He decided to go to JUCO route so that he can get more offers to play D-1 football.  Coming out of HS he had offers from Harvard.



December 7th, 2011 at 5:40 AM ^

The thread title made me think "snuff thread" for a moment, but...

If we're going to include elements of the West Coast offense in earnest ala Borges, another TE is probably a good idea, from my own understanding of that offense.

Why not Michigan, Pharoah Brown? *sigh*


December 7th, 2011 at 6:37 AM ^

Last I heard a coach visited his home this week (or last). His commitment status changed due to his OV2UO, but I serious doubt Hoke and company would become hostile to him. After all, there is no point of doing that.


December 7th, 2011 at 7:04 AM ^

Haven't some rumbled about the possibility of Heitzman moving to TE?  He's only 6'3", which is a tad short for TE, but was recruited at 237 and could potentially be up around 250 by the start of next season.  I thought I remembered him playing TE in HS.

Also, how big do you think Funchess would need to be to play next year?  I know Koger size is ideal, but how much do you think the staff would be willing to take if skill-wise he was the best threat?  Koger came in at 235 and saw action (though in a different system) as a true freshman.  Funchess is 30 lbs behind that, but if he could get to 220-225 by the start of the next season, any chance he gets to play?  At that size he's doubtful to maul any LB's, but depending on the formation he could still do some blocking.  After all, Vincent Smith can block.

As for AJ, at his size he could be a great TE/extra OL immediately for blocking, possibly in that role next year and moving into OL the following year once there's a tad more depth with guys like Funchess likely to have that desired bulk.


December 7th, 2011 at 7:46 AM ^

Michigan offered Sam Grant a long time ago.

Kevin Koger drops lots of passes and has something like 55 career receptions, if I remember correctly.  He's a decent tight end, but a stud he is not.


December 7th, 2011 at 8:08 AM ^

I wouldn't say stud, but above average? Yes! I have had big expectations since his TD catch against Wisconsin in '08. While he never met them, he has been very solid for Michigan.